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Spoilers ahead for the series finale of Orange is the New Black. If you haven't finished Season 7, look away!
After seven years, Orange is the New Black has served its time on Netflix. The series officially ended with Season 7, and Litchfield's story has come to an end. The series finale "Here's Where We Get Off" gave the myriad inmates endings, with most of them providing a definitive conclusion to their story. But fans still have a few questions, chief among them being Daya's fate.
Daya became prison kingpin in Season 7, and was almost unrecognizable from the caring sweet girl we met back in Episode 1. The drug war between she and her mother Aleida continued to escalate, with Daya eventually getting her little sister involved. This eventually puts Aleida into a rage, and she's last scene punching and choking the younger Diaz. So did Daya's mother kill her? Actress Dascha Polanco recently revealed her character's fate, saying:
They made it very clear to me that I don’t die. I thought that she did. But the writers told me, 'She doesn’t die, but she gets knocked out really good.' And I realized it was going to be left as that question.
What a relief. Because while Daya had a dark arc in Season 7 and ultimately was corrupted by her time in federal prison, she wasn't killed when her mother attacked her during the series finale. Looks like the conflict between the Diaz women is far from over, with fans left to wonder how it all went down.
Dascha Polanco's comments are sure to elicit a mixed back of emotions, depending on how each Orange is the New Black fan felt about her signature character. She was one of the original stars of the long-running series, entering Litchfield at the same time as Piper in the series premiere. But while Chapman was released and able to reintegrate back into society, Daya wasn't so lucky.
After falling in love with a guard and having a baby, Daya got involved in the prison riots of Season 5. She shot the villainous CO Humphry, who eventually died during the days long riots. She eventually got a life sentence, losing all hope for a future. Season 7 saw her take over the prison drug trade, accidentally her girlfriend in the process, and eventually putting her family in jeopardy.
In her same conversation with THR, Dascha Polanco spoke to missing the character, and the plot lines she wishes were fleshed out before the series finale. She said:
Oh, Daya. I’m going to miss her. I wanted her to have a moment of closure with Bennett. I wanted her to inquire about her daughter. I wanted more of Pornstache. Though we do see him [at the end] with Daya's baby, I wanted to see Daya actually inquire about her daughter. I would have loved to see that interaction. Her curiosity as a mother, her artistry — that all became obsolete. That’s what happens when you have no hope.
All of Orange is the New Black's characters went through huge arcs throughout seven years on the series. Daya isn't the exception to this rule, although she's perhaps the most unrecognizable from her original appearance. By the time the series finale came around she had killed two people, developed a drug dependency, and gotten her family involved in prison drug trade. Remember when it was all drawings and meet cutes with Bennett?
Orange is the New Black's full series is streaming now on Netflix. In the meantime, check out our fall premiere list to plan your next binge watch.